Hyperallergic features Mary Mattingly’s exhibition, What Happens After

Taking Apart the War Machine to See What’s Inside

Ilana Novick

By centering the actual machinery of war, Mary Mattingly’s exhibition, What Happens After, pushes viewers who haven’t experienced war to consider what it must be like.

The military truck at the center of Mary Mattingly’s What Happens After, now on view at BRIC House, has been to Iraq, transporting weapons and soldiers in the first Gulf War, and then to Afghanistan. It didn’t kill anyone by itself, but as a military vehicle, was a conduit to carnage. It met an untimely end after the online auction Mattingly bought it from: Now it’s in pieces in the middle of an art gallery. Visiting the exhibition is an exercise in grappling with answering the title’s question — whether the new context neutralizes it, reclaims it, or hides the violence it was responsible for.

Mattingly makes viewers work for their own answers.

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